Super League 2020: Hull KR, Leeds Rhinos, Salford Red Devils and St Helens team guide
By Sky Sports Rugby League
Last Updated: 30/01/20 12:15pm
In part two of our three-part Super League team guide, we take a look at Hull Kingston Rovers, Leeds Rhinos, Salford Red Devils and St Helens...
Hull Kingston Rovers
Coach: Tony Smith.
Captain: Weller Hauraki.
2019 finish: 11th.
2019 leading scorers: Tries - Craig Hall 11; Points - Ryan Shaw 142.
Ground: Hull College Craven Park (12,255 capacity).
In: Shaun Kenny-Dowall (Newcastle Knights), Matty Gee, Jordan Abdull (both London Broncos), Jamie Ellis, Greg Minikin, Will Maher (all Castleford Tigers), Ryan Brierley, Nick Rawsthorne (both Toronto Wolfpack), Joe Keyes, Rowan Milnes, Elliot Minchella, Matty Storton, Anesu Mudoti, Ethan Ryan (all Bradford Bulls), Dean Hadley, Jez Litten (both Hull FC), Harvey Livett (Warrington Wolves, loan), Kyle Trout (Dewsbury Rams), Matt Parcell (Leeds Rhinos), Daniel Murray (Salford Red Devils).
Out: Danny McGuire (retired), Joel Tomkins, Josh Drinkwater (both Catalans Dragons), Chris Atkin, James Greenwood, Ryan Lannon (all Salford Red Devils), Ryan Shaw (Yorkshire Carnegie RU), Danny Addy (Leigh Centurions), Craig Hall (Featherstone Rovers), Jimmy Keinhorst, Elliot Wallis (both York City Knights, loans), Will Oakes (Dewsbury Rams, loan).
One to watch: Shaun Kenny-Dowalll. Rovers have pulled off something of a coup in signing the former NRL Grand Final winner and a star on the international stage for New Zealand, and if they can get the ball out to him the 31-year-old could use it to devastating effect.
Barrie McDermott's view: "It has been something of a revolving door at Craven Park over the winter, with no fewer than 20 players arriving and 12 leaving either to other clubs or, in the case of Danny McGuire, retiring.
"Danny has now moved into an off-field role, but I know from playing alongside him how much his influence on the field will be missed.
"His new challenge is getting players to understand and interpret that wealth of experience, especially the halves. It will be up to one of the new signings, Jordan Abdull, to help fill that gap and I think he could be their star man.
"Although they aren't littered with stars in the squad, they have good depth and the tragic injury suffered by Mose Masoe could inspire them to do it for their mate.Tony Smith has a proven track record as a head coach at both Leeds and Warrington too.
"Unfortunately for Hull KR fans, this year looks like being another tough season for the Robins - although I expect them to have enough about them to retain their Super League status."
Coach: Richard Agar.
Captain: Stevie Ward.
2019 finish: Eighth.
2019 leading scorers: Tries - Ash Handley 22; Points - Liam Sutcliffe 106.
Ground: Headingley (19,700 capacity).
In: Luke Gale (Castleford Tigers), Kruise Leeming, Alex Mellor (both Huddersfield Giants), Matt Prior (Cronulla Sharks), Rhys Evans (Bradford Bulls, loan).
Out: Trent Merrin (St George Illawarra Dragons), Nathaniel Peteru (released), Carl Ablett, Jamie Jones-Buchanan (both retired), Brad Singleton (Toronto Wolfpack), Ashton Golding, Owen Trout (both Huddersfield Giants), Matt Parcell (Hull KR), Brett Ferres (Featherstone Rovers), Shaun Lunt (Batley Bulldogs).
One to watch: Luke Gale. The half-back returns to the club he played in the youth system for between the ages of 12 and 19 after sitting out the whole of 2019 with an Achilles injury. If he is back to his best, Gale and Robert Lui could form an eye-catching partnership in the halves.
Brian Carney's view: "It's an interesting time of year because we always look at who teams have signed, but you can overlook Leeds began all of this midway through last year with Robert Lui and Rhyse Martin coming in, and Kallum Watkins going out.
"They're ahead of most of the other clubs who have had a major overhaul. The thing is there is a lot of expectation. The pundit would ask a Leeds fan: What is the minimum they would expect?
"Consider the turmoil they had in 2016, 2018 and 2019, would they accept comfortable mid-table, never in danger of relegation but never threatening the play-offs? Is staying clear of relegation going to be good enough for that club? I doubt it.
"Richard Agar referred to it as an evolution rather than a transition, but while they are evolving those players are still at a club that demands trophies and excellence.
"Is this squad capable of winning it? I'd be surprised, but I'd be less surprised if they were pushing around at the lower end of the play-offs."
Salford Red Devils
Coach: Ian Watson.
Co-captains: Lee Mossop and Mark Flanagan.
2019 finish: Third, Grand Final runners-up.
2019 leading scorers: Tries - Niall Evalds 22; Points - Krisnan Inu 215.
Ground: AJ Bell Stadium (12,000 capacity).
In: Kevin Brown (Warrington Wolves), Chris Atkin, James Greenwood, Ryan Lannon (all Hull KR), Elliot Kear, Luke Yates, Rhys Williams (all London Broncos), Dan Sarginson (Wigan Warriors), Pauli Pauli (Wakefield Trinity), Connor Jones, Jack Ormondroyd (both Featherstone Rovers), Sebastine Ikahihifo (Huddersfield Giants, loan).
Out: Josh Jones (Hull FC), George Griffin, Derrell Olpherts (both Castleford Tigers), Jake Bibby, Jack Hastings (both Wigan Warriors), Josh Wood (Wakefield Trinity), Logan Tomkins (Widnes Vikings), Greg Johnson (Bradford Bulls), Ben Nakubuwai (released), Daniel Murray (Hull KR), Adam Lawton (Newcastle Thunder).
One to watch: Kevin Brown. Another player who missed the entire 2019 campaign due to injury, the former Warrington Wolves half-back brings plenty of experience and guile to the Red Devils which will be vital following Jackson Hastings' departure to Wigan Warriors.
Phil Clarke's view: "Was 2019 a one off or are they like Leicester City in the Premier League now, a top-half team that can cause problems for anyone?
"Their improvement from 2018 to 2019 was almost unheralded. Their defence did improve, but it was their attack that made the biggest difference. On average they scored 10 points a game more in 2019 than the previous season and an improvement like that is very rare in rugby league.
"Their coach, Ian Watson, did a brilliant job and must be a contender as the next England boss if Daryl Powell does not get the job ahead of him.
"Sadly they have lost four of their best performers in Josh Jones, Derrell Olpherts, Robert Lui and Hastings. They will also miss Jake Bibby, who did some great work for the side. I really like Luke Yates and I think that Chris Atkin could develop into a great player, but never quite as good as the man that he replaces.
"Jackson Hastings set up or scored a third of the tries which helped to take Salford to Old Trafford. The biggest question is if the combined efforts of players like Elliot Kear, Kevin Brown, Dan Sarginson and James Greenwood can help to make them a better and more balanced squad."
Coach: Kristian Woolf.
Captain: James Roby.
2019 finish: First, Grand Final winners.
2019 leading scorers: Tries - Tom Makinson 23; Points - Lachlan Coote 269.
Ground: Totally Wicked Stadium (18,000 capacity).
Out: Danny Richardson (Castleford Tigers), Adam Swift (Hull FC), Luke Douglas (Ballina, Australia), Liam Cooper (Widnes Vikings), Ryan Morgan (released)
One to watch: Tommy Makinson. A shoulder injury sustained in the Grand Final robbed him of a place on Great Britain's winter tour, but last season's top try-scorer in Super League is now back to full fitness and will be eager to earn a place in the England squad for this year's Ashes series.
Terry O'Connor's view: "St Helens haven't made any new signings, but maybe it's because some of the young stars they're looking to bring through. Last year we saw glimpses of Jack Welsby, there's a young lad call Josh Sim who spent time at Leigh Centurions and Mark Foster, who's a back rower.
"There's even an 18-year-old called Lewis Dodd who will make his debut this year and he's a phenomenal player. I've watched him growing up at Farnworth Hornets, he was chased really hard by Saints and he's the next big thing to come through and play Super League.
"It's not as if they won the League Leaders' Shield by two points last year, they won it by 16 and were eight wins clear of Wigan in second, so why do they need to change anything?
"Kristian Woolf has got some act to follow as well. He's probably a different character to Justin Holbrook, he goes in the wrestling pit with the lads and he's quite defensively orientated, but you've got to allow Saints to play as well.
"I'm going to throw in Jonny Lomax to have a huge year and he's one of my contenders for the Man of Steel."